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Security Cooperation Activities: Strengthening a Partner Military and its Governing Institutions

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Technical Report,01 Jun 2015,26 May 2016

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US Army School for Advanced Military Studies Fort Leavenworth United States

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Determining the right mix of military to civilian aid to strengthen partner militaries and their governing institutions will challenge operational artists in the future. Military planners who broaden their fields of study to include a partner nations military, government, and economic capabilities approach the problem with a holistic understanding. Recently, the United States concluded two wars, planned to reduce the size of the US Armed Forces, and planned to increase reliance on allied partners abroad. In the future, US military and foreign allies will expand partnerships while maintaining a global presence through security cooperation activities. Security cooperation activities train and equip partner militaries, while security sector reform increases a governments ability to manage its security forces. US efforts that empower security forces without strengthening that governments ability to control brings unintended consequences like coups dtat. Using comparative observations across two cases of US security cooperation, Vietnam 1961-1963 and Mali 2002-2012, this monograph supports the hypothesis that military aid without targeted civilian aid strengthens a military and threatens its government in times of crisis.

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